Bucks Leave Thunder Bay With Series Split, 7-4
A three-hit night from Iowa native Kyle Crowl and a solid effort from starting pitcher Brett Solano led the Waterloo Bucks to a 7-2 win over the Thunder Bay Border Cats in Canada Wednesday night (July 27, 2016).
The victory gives the Bucks their 13th series split of the season and improves their record to 18-7 in the last game of a series.
After trailing 8-0 through the first five innings of Tuesday night’s game, Waterloo jumped in front 1-0 with a run in the second. Jake Hand started the frame with a lead-off walk and moved to third on a pair of wild pitches. Three hitters later, Waterloo native Zach Fricke brought in the first run of the night with an RBI groundout to the left side of the infield.
The Bucks (8-11, 30-24) doubled their lead to 2-0 in the third inning. Zach Weatherford drew his second five-pitch walk of the night and Lane Milligan followed with a single to center, advancing Weatherford to third. Weatherford then scored on Tyler Curtis' sacrifice fly to right-center.
Waterloo plated three runs in the fourth inning following a lead-off single by Alex Boxwell, who extended his personal-best hitting streak to 10 games. Crowl then singled to right, moving Boxwell to third. Crowl later stole second and Luke Barry drove in both runners with a single to right field. Milligan put the Bucks up 5-0 with a two-out RBI single to center.
Thunder Bay (7-10 13-38) cut the Bucks' lead to 5-2 on Anthony Brocato’s two-run, fourth-inning home run, but Waterloo answered with an unearned run in the fifth. Hand reached base on a single and moved to second on a throwing error. Boxwell advanced Hand to third with a deep flyout to right. Hand scored when the relay throw sailed into the Bucks’ dugout.
Waterloo added a two-out run in the seventh, when Robert Neustrom singled back and Hand drew a walk. Boxwell then reached on a fielder’s choice, which put runners on the corners. Crowl, an Iowa-bound infielder from Council Bluffs who joined the Bucks last week after recently graduating from high school, then recorded his first Northwoods League RBI with an single to center.
The Border Cats scored their final two more runs in the bottom of seventh, setting the score at 7-4.
Solano (5-4) allowed four runs on ten hits over 6.1 inning, while striking out six and walking two. Reliever Derek Hendrixson (4) recorded the save after finishing up his fourth-straight scoreless appearance. Hendrixson retired all three batters he faced, including a strikeout to end the game.
UP NEXT: Waterloo returns to Riverfront Stadium on Thursday (July 28) to open a two-game home series against the Willmar Stingers. First pitch is scheduled at 7:05 p.m.
Story Contributor: Jared Schlensky - Waterloo Bucks